Ok, few things good to know before watching Tallinn:
- Estonia has had a long and torrid history having been ruled by several different empires in the past. Germany, Sweden, Denmark an Russia have all laid claims to these lands in the last few centuries. So Estonia has a very multicultural feel thanks to this.
- Tallinn is situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, in north-western Estonia.
- Tallinn's population is registered 400,200 (as of May 2007).
- In August 1991 an independent democratic Estonian state was re-established and a period of quick development to a modern European capital ensued. Later, Estonia became part of the European Union in 2004.
- Tallinn has the largest number of non-EU nationals: 27.8% of its population are not EU citizens. This is because planned immigration from other Soviet republics during the period of Soviet control (1944-1991) brought large numbers of non-Estonians, mostly Russians, to Tallinn and other areas of Northern Estonia. These immigrants and their offspring do not qualify automatically for Estonian citizenship.
- Dont look for mountains or uphills. The highest point in Tallinn is few more of 60 meters. (I remember the strange feeling of going further inside the sea and walking and walking, water couldt go up of knees).
- The local tourist office sells the "Tallinn Card" which gives the holder free local public transport and entry to most attractions. Although the economics of this may be marginal, it is convenient to use. Local walking tours offer short-cuts to understanding the city.
- The city operates an extensive system of bus (64 lines), tram(4 lines) and trolley-bus (8 lines) routes to all districts. Fares are reasonably-priced and a flat-fare system is used. Payment is made either by pre-purchase of tickets at street-side kiosks or by a purchase from the transport vehicle.
- Money: they still don't have euro, estonian kroons (EEK) is the currency and the exchange is 1€ = 15'6EEK +-. It was supposed that they would have € this year, but inflaction didn't allow it. Right now I think they can reach the euro on 2010 or 2011, what I have been told or even studied :P
- But talking about money notes, they have a not very high first one. Highest is 500kr.=33€ . Then they have lots of coins, not very useful for normal life and with a very low value.
- In spite of this, don't think prices are cheap. I would say prices are more or less like Spain, even going to some disco could be more expensive. But market basket is quite similar as a normal city in Spain.
The typical image of Tallinn that you can find is something like these ones below, with the old town and the St. Olaf’s church or St. Olav's church standing visible in the middle.
Kompressor, a place where you can buy cheap and tasty Pancakes... mmm I miss that place..
Rockstars, a place you must go if you are tired of discos :D
Peppersack, another place for eating or having some drink, and... maybe you can find a surprise when someone starts to fight with real swords and you are public of one representation inside. I think it was around 20:00 on weekend, wasn't it Ilona? ;)
Fancy trolley of Tallinn hahah
I remember it was a big surprise when I was there and suddenly the "love trolleys" came from nothing haha
Oh so many times going from one side to other in those trolleys..
Another sight of Tallinn
Some shots inside the old town.
St. Catherine's Passage
Hell Hunt, nice quiet place for drinking some beer
Alexander Nevski Cathedral, built in 1894-1900.
Those days we took these pics they were reparing or doing something with it.
Toompea castle, the seat of the Parliament of the Republic of Estonia. Yeh! pink! strange!:D
More sights from the old town and around
The Russalka statue in Pirita
The Pirita monastery where even Metsatöll (famous estonian heavy-pagan metal band) made one concert with the Estonian National Male Choir
Raekoja Plats, the main square in the Old Town. In this Town Hall square you can see a little but beautiful christmas market in december.
Near were I lived, this is called Mustamäe, a bit far from the city center, maybe 30 min. by trolley, but there we had the hostel and the TTU university
Pirita beach. Don't worry, in summer it's not that cold as in february. I remember going several times in June and July and weather was around 25º-30º
Yeh, this is still the beach, you have to cross a little forest to arrive there. Cool :)
Olde Hansa, the most famous place for eating in the Old Town. You can find there even concerts meanwhile you are having the dinner.
Viru Gates, entrance to the Old Town. Those were once part of a larger gate system built in the 14th century, and the walls of the down town (hundreds years ago the old town was divided in upper and down)
The big door that separated the upper and the down town
Bye/good bye: Head aega/tsau
Cheers!: Terviseks (and if you say after "Tervis sulle, seks mulle" someone will greet you with a big smile for sure;))
My name is...: Minu nimi on...
So, now with just only these words you can already say: "Tere! üks õlu, palun". And you won't be never thirsty in Estonia ;)
- Did I say that I hate "Taksos"? gfrwrhgs. They will try to steal your money for sure if you are foreigner. It's a good advice to get some taxi numbers and calling them. It will be much cheaper than stop one in the street. Believe me.
- For students. If you are studying economics or something related, it's quite probable that you have to go to Kopli, near the sea but far from everything.
- It's quite known that there are some quarrels between some estonians and russians living in Estonia. But I hope that can be settled with years.
- Food: food in Estonia is so so. The typical dish you can find is meat with sauce and boiled potatoes and some vegetables joining.
- Finland is just at one step from Tallinn. Just taking one of the several ferrys they go there by day and in 2-3 hours ready.
- Sauna parties are great.
- It's amazing a city where you can see and even enter the forest not walking too far. Nature evolves Tallinn.
- When day is night and night is day... yes, in Estonia I had lived the longest nights and longest days of my life. In Winter, almost no day, in summer the sky is almost never completely dark.
- There is a high alcoholic level between population, I mean, it was strange for me seeing people drinking inside buses, trolleys, trams or trains or in the street. Vodka or beer, Viru Valge or Saku/Ale C. Coq.
- About the way of being of estonians.. I cannot say anything certain. I was told they are shy people and closed at first, but I have met every kind, so I cannot make a pattern. What is sure is that if they notice you are a foreigner and they are drinking their 4th or 5th beer, maybe you can find some friends for all night if you are alone. But I guess that happens in every place. But what I really found is that estonians are quite quiet, I mean, in general they are not very loud voiced people or even talkative. I remember going in the trolley full of people and nobody talked there. I can say also is that they are really pollited people.
- Casinos!!! It attracted a lot my attention the big number of casinos for each few meters there are in Estonia. I asked to several locals about that, and I got different opinnions, some think it's because estonians like a lot those games, others told me it was just for showing off that they are becoming a richer country, and that inside there are not so many people... no idea.